Daily Devotional for March 21
March 21 John 12:20-26
Dying to Live
The other day, a friend made a painful revelation to me. She
was being discriminated against in her office in favor of a male
who had less experience and seniority than she. She had almost
enough time in her company to be vested in her pension plan,
and if she pursued the discrimination complaint, she risked
being fired. What to do, she wondered. "Pastor," she said to
me, "it seems to me that I have a clear and frightening choice
between doing what I know I ought to do - not only for
myself but for every woman in the company - and saving
my own skin."
Jesus' words in today's reading encapsulate one of the deeper
mysteries of the spiritual life: those who try to save their lives
will lose them; those who give up their lives will save them.
We seem to be confronted again and again with choosing
between what we know is a right course of action and an easier
path of less resistance. Doing what we know is right rather
than taking an easy way out involves a death, of course - the
death of our own ego. It is a painful choice, one that may not
turn out all right in the short run. Hurling ourselves at the
forces of injustice in life may result initially in a tragic defeat,
but ultimately success is sure to follow.
This is what I believe Jesus meant when he said, "... unless
a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Jesus himself provided the
example: he was crucified after a mock trial, but the end result
was a greater glory - triumph over death itself ,and eternal
life for us all.
Jesus, when I am faced with a difficult moral choice,
help me to die to myself so that I may, with your help,
make a difference in the world. Amen.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.